he came for a purpose

Monday, December 6 | Video Introduction

Tuesday, December 7 | Personal or Family Devotional

Wednesday, December 8 | Advent Music

Thursday, December 9 | Special Activity

Friday, December 10 | Family Activity

Saturday, December 11 | Advent Candle Lighting

Sunday, December 12 | Sunday AM Service @ 10.00am



TUESDAY, december 7


By Pastor Adam Van Dop

Pam and I got married on May 29, 2004, seventeen and a half years ago.  Our wedding ceremony, and our marriage, was and is based upon 1 John 4:19.  We even found a ink pad stamp with the verse on it for our handmade invitations. 


We love because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19 | ESV


God’s love came first, long before any of us came about.  In this world, there are over 7.7 billion people currently, and Google estimates that there have been 107 billion people to ever live, and God’s love has been extended to every single human, ever! God also gave each person the ability to extend that love to each other.  And yet, look at the course of history at how much hate that humanity has had for each other.  It is super interesting to take note that for us, in each of our relationships and moments, our ability to love is based upon the fact that God loved us first. 


I can love my wife,

I can love my children,

I can love my coworkers,

I can love my neighbors,

only because God loved me first.


John tells us that without God exuding His tremendous love for us, we simply would not have a clue about what love really means, or even how to express it.  Consider once again the first moments in the days after creation.  God had just created everything, and He looked upon all that He made, including Adam & Eve, and its written,


God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31 | ESV


Then the fall happened, and that goodness was lost, humanity was separated from God.  Over the next 38 books of the Old Testament, God was regularly filled with disappointment and grief over His children.  However, God’s love for His children never waned. He remained in full pursuit of His chosen nation.  Then the moment happened that was foreseen coming all through the Old Testament, Jesus came.  Paul writes to his audience in Philippi, speaking of Christ’s coming,


Though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Philippians 2:6-7 | ESV


Paul doesn’t stop there, and neither does Christ’s life.  Jesus didn’t come just to be like one of us, to see what being a human was all about.  Jesus came, personifying perfection, in order to be the final sacrifice made so that we don’t have to ever experience the pain and torment that true separation from God the Father would actually be.  Paul continues,


And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:8 | ESV


You see, God’s love for us is so great that He gave up His child, His perfect child, for us.  John points out, that because He did just that, we are able to love our spouses, our children, our friends, and our neighbors.   May you in this Christmas season, find the time to express your love to the all the people that you are close to, knowing that you have received the greatest gift of all time, Christ’s love!


Wednesday, December 8 | ADVENT Music

By Jason McNabb

When I was little, I remember being captivated by the song, The Little Drummer Boy. The story about this humble child always resonated with me. He had no kingly gifts that would be fit to bring before the Holy Child of Bethlehem, except his drum music. I suppose that feeling is almost universal—who among us has a gift fit for the King of all creation?


A newer Christmas-ballad, O Come, All You Unfaithful, hones in on that very same theme, and it actually goes beyond it in a helpful way. Speaking to all who are wounded, guilty and discouraged, this song’s refrain reminds us and proclaims over us, “Christ is born for you.”


The Christ-child, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is also the Lamb who was slain so that we could be pardoned from our sin and justified before the Holy Judge. Jesus’ own words in Matthew 11 express His heart of peace toward all who are weary and broken:


Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28 | ESV


In Christ we find rest for our souls; peace and comfort and joy. So hear these words from the last verse:


Come, though you have nothing.

Come, Christ Jesus is the offering.

Come, see what God has done.

Christ is born for you.


O Come, All You Unfaithful

Bob Kauflin, Lisa Clow


Verse 1

O come all you unfaithful, come weak and unstable, come know you are not alone

O come barren and waiting ones, weary of praying, come see what your God has done



Christ is born, Christ is born, Christ is born for you


Verse 2

O come bitter and broken, come with fears unspoken, come taste of His perfect love

O come guilty and hiding ones, there is no need to run, see what your God has done



He's the Lamb who was given slain for our pardon

His promise is peace for those who believe


Verse 3

So come though you have nothing, come He is the offering

Come see what your God has done


© 2020 Sovereign Grace Praise (Admin. by Integrity Music)



Thursday, December 9

Special Activity

luminaria contest

This week is a contest!


Who can create the best luminaria? 


Your ADVENT ACTIVITY BOX this week will have suggestions on some luminaria but be as creative as you wish. Send your picture to marcel@gatewaycrc.org with your name. The staff will determine the most creative luminarias. The winner will receive a $100 family gift card. The box was made available via pre-registration in November.


Winner will be announced at our 412LIVE Christmas event on Thursday, December 16.  Let the creative juices begin to flow…


You may ask what is a luminaria?


Traditionally, a luminaria is a small paper lantern (commonly a candle set in some sand inside a paper bag) that appeared in the 16 century to guide people to midnight mass.


friday, december 10 | FAmily Activity

CHRistmas light tour

Come and enjoy homes that have been beautifully decorated in Abbotsford.


412 Ministries has organized buses to drive you around to see the sights and sounds of Abbotsford. 


There will be hot-chocolate and Christmas carolling on the bus.  This will be a fun night for everyone!


First tour will be at 6.00pm.


Second tour at 7.30pm. 


Between the two tours, the fire pits will be burning, Christmas treats available. 



Saturday, December 11

Candle lighting

Adult/Parent: Set aside ten minutes tonight to talk about how God showed His glory to the shepherds on the night Jesus was born. The only materials needed are five candles, matches, and a Bible.


Have one member of the family light the last two week’s candles and a third candle. 


Have one person read the following passages out loud.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 

~ Luke 2:8-12

Behind the angel they saw a strange glowing cloud–except it wasn’t a cloud, it was angels... troops and troops of angels, armed with light! And they were singing a beautiful song: “Glory to God! To God be Fame and Honor and all our Hoorays!"

~ The Jesus Storybook Bible

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.

~ Luke 2:15-17


Have an adult read the commentary below.

As Mary and Joseph held their newborn Son during those late hours of the night, God began spreading the wonderful news of Jesus’ birth. And He began with an unusual group of people. Kings, queens, and religious leaders were not the first people to hear about the birth of Jesus. Instead, God told the most unimportant of people His good news first. Back in those days, people looked down on shepherds and even hated them. Most people considered them criminals, thieves, and liars. Yet these were the first people to hear that the Rescuer had come. And the way they heard that good news was nothing short of amazing.

While the shepherds watched their sheep in a field outside of Bethlehem, an angel appeared. The Bible tells us that the shepherds were filled with great fear. This angel was a warrior of the Lord. And he shone with the glory of God. The bright radiance of heaven itself interrupted the deep darkness of the night. It was as if God peeled back the curtain of heaven and gave the shepherds a small glimpse of Himself. The angel told the shepherds not to be afraid. God did what He had promised—He sent Jesus to rescue God’s people from their sins. God was making peace between Himself and sinners through Jesus.

Upon telling the shepherds the good news of Jesus’ birth and how to find Him, the angel was joined by thousands of other angels who began singing about the greatness of God. That dark, quiet night sky was filled with a beautiful, blinding light and roaring song that left the shepherds forever changed. Once they had heard the news, the shepherds were desperate to go and find Jesus and see the marvellous thing that God had done.


Lord, thank you for sending angels to share the good news of Jesus’ birth to sinners just like us! AMEN!


As a family, sing or listen to “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”